|Position||Keeper of Elysium|
|Age||(apparent age): 43; embraced for: 68y|
- Neuro-s(t)urgeon and medical expert from Pula. More than willing to help you with your ailments, those concerning the flesh as well as the mind.
- Well-educated, handles a private clinic in his home town.
- Moved to Zagreb to expand business sometime in November of 2016.
The Harpy RumorsEdit
- He seems like his got his primogen back. For now...
A View from WithinEdit
Febbraio 2017. Edit
“It’s all one big mess, Andrea...” - said Giorgio as he entered the car and closed the door. The person at the driver’s seat was his longterm retainer and protegée, a man in his late 30s, smartly dressed, with a fashionable well-groomed beard, wearing musk-based perfume. Andrea had many qualities that made him great in the eyes of every true Italian – he was smart, loyal, knowledgeable, resourceful, persuasive, charming, vain, womanizer, self-centered careerist with occasional proclivity to high stake gambles and infinite potential to spend money. Wise, as well.
“You come ‘ere because you want to spread business a little, make some lire on the side, pick a few brains, make a scientific breakt’rough - help dis povero civilisation! What ‘appens? Instead of healing patients, it is you who ends up being hurt and almost driven crasy!”- Giorgio was feeling the indignation of a righteous person who is trying its best, but getting the worst in return. Fleeting vistas of unspeakable horrors dared to sally against the borders of his sanity in the brief glimpse of the very recent past as phantom pain rushed up his hand to his shoulder, but the mental fortress of his mind was well guarded and the attack was repelled. He knew, though, that the denizens of the deep would not leave quietly. Perhaps they were there to stay, lurking in the corners of his mind, or worse yet – the very corners of the streets, waiting for a moment of weakness to exploit and bring about his downfall. In their cunning, they could attemp to use trickery and deceit. Would he be able to resist them if they took shape of his lost love or, perhaps, the most coveted treasure from the vault of the memories of his childhood days – his mamma’s meatballs?! The thought made him shudder with fear. The lessons of the creature clad in the form of a woman were taking their toll and he was feeling the fatigue.
“What happened?” - Andrea inquired more out of common courtesy than genuine concern as he was slowing down to the red light at the crossroad.
“Curiosity, and I’m not talking about the robot on Mars, eh… Sometimes I tink I will get hurt, like the proverbial cat. Aldough, I am more like a Schrodinger's cat when you tink about it - both dead and alive at the same time. I digress. Where are we now, ‘ave you learned your way around the citta?”
“Si, I got used to it quite quickly. I haven’t gotten used to the slow traffic, though. We are not far from home.” - Andrea sighed as he cast a brief glance at Giorgio before returning his gaze to the traffic light. Time on his watch kept ticking. It was half past one. Streets were mostly empty, save for a few taxis that were driving the fares.
“You know, Andrea, dere is almost no one outside, but the all-seeing gaze of the One is always present – intangibile, the walls of the houses designed to keep people’s secrets to themselves pose it no obstacle, for it sees trough deir eyes. It is privy to their very toughts, even...” - A light, concerned, smile stole across his face while he surveyed the buildings and the alleys - in the endless river of time, nothing more than impermanent pieces of fake scenery, populated by wandering amnesiacs unaware of their interconnectedness. Giorgio paused so that Andrea could soak in the importance of this revelation.
“Mmm hmmm...” - muttered Andrea, nodding his head in an affirmative way and raising his eyebrows, still waiting for the light to change to green.
“Tu sai...” - Giorgio continued undeterred, not even noticing his partner was paying little heed to his words - “Dis realita, as we call it, is just the tip of an enormous ice-é-berg, a reflection of a greater truth. We mold it, but what we do is not solely of our free will, dere are factors beyond our power.” - the verbosity inherent in Giorgio’s italian ancestry was starting to gain momentum.
“I must tell you, Andrea, some tings you only see if you live long enough… Waves in the sea of what we call collective (un)consciousness dat draw the layout of the cities, shape be’avior of man, kindle the genius of art even before an action takes place or matter emerges from the waters of creation. At the distant, unattainable nexus, all the toughts and impulses from all over the world, regardless of where dey come – a human, a beast or something else – converge, gather into a single point just to explode again, rehashed, ever so slightly changed, like the univers did when it was first brought to existence. The cycle repeats itself again and again and again - the pulse is always beating so subtly most never sense it. It is immaterial, yet it makes the blueprint for the whole of realita. Mind you, its true secret lies in the infinity of potential, not necessarily in the actuality. I am privileged, you know? Because in my blood flows a trace of dat pulse, a mote of the force diluted many times, yet potent enough to grant me an occasional w’isper of the echo of dat silent scream. I wonder if the legends are true and the voice behind it belongs to… well, let’s not reveal too much at once… I am ascending ever deeper, amico. It feels like a lightning rushing trough the neural network and lighting up the dendrites dat sparkle like stars. It feels like reaching into dark corners of space where jewels of wisdom are revealed, as is the power dat is given to the persevering. It is marvelous, absolutely ‘yponotising to behold. Just observing it and basking in joy!”
Then a couple of lights on the facades turned to black, a few shutters were drawn down here and there and silence reigned supreme for a moment. “However, some mysteries elude me as well. Scratching the itch of curiosity is a most rewarding experience, yet dere is dis road I took dat fills me with dread. I was afflicted by my journey in every sense of the word. The black ink was sketching shadows wearing familiar friendly faces dat plotted a conspiracy against me. The worst scenario was already laid out and would have been written in my own blood! My ruin was nigh, surely I would ‘ave joined deir ranks in dat unholy pit had I not been pulled out by the hand of my teacher and guide... Remember duality. We all have a secret side and terror stirs witin. The mind of the world lives such a life too, except that every abomination and sinister tought ever conceived resides therein. Such a crowded boundlessness of torment. It must be a painful burden to carry which makes me wonder, Andrea, if the omniscient, ever-present eye of the sum of all consciousness ever gets tired of knowing and all it really wants is to close and, at least for a little while, sleep a dreamless sleep, lulled into the quiet of the void...”
“Well, all I really want is to make it to the club and crush some pussy tonite, boss.” - Andrea interrupted as the light finally changed to green dissipating Giorgio’s momentum in the process. The stupid smirk on the retainer’s face brought him down to earth while Andrea’s stepping on the pedal to the metal pressed him hard against the car seat.
“Tank you for keeping me up to date wit the idioms and neologisms.” - Giorgio resigned, his hands tapping in search for the handle above the door to hold himself down lest he be catapulted through the window.
“They also say: don’t hate the player, hate the game. Write that down too! It’s not my fault people today talk like illiterate assholes or even politically correct. You gotta adapt, that’s social survival 101. O tempora, o mores, right?” - Andrea was swerving through the empty streets. “Anyways, if I’m too late, all the good birds will have flown. Catch my drift?”
“Yes, you are drifting like a maniac, you should come for a therapy some time.”
“Certo, certo!” - Andrea shook Giorgio off as, with the screeching of the tires, the car came to a stop. Even before Giorgio could get out, Andrea was closing the door and waving good night.
“He is so petty, but I can’t take it against him – he’s merely sailing down the stream following a course dat has been set so long ago.” - Giorgio thought to himself while standing alone before the haven door “Den again, he is not shying away from the fight against the current at times, whereas I am often paralyzed by observation, locked in inaction, carried by the flow werever it may take me. Maybe I should act as if free will exists and do someting too, like see a movie, rob a boat, beat up a juvie or pet a goat… No, wait! Dat dosen’t sound rite, maledetto network… Yes, maybe I should do some non-neurological research insted!"
Marzo 2017. Edit
Outside the window, the moon was ripe and riding high, casting a halo on elder Nero who sat impassive and quiet like the golden jug he once expressed a desire to become. The air, heavy with smell of paper and timeworn tomes that adorned the walls of the room in a fashion of a motley Romanesque mosaic charged with wisdom and neglect, weighted down on Giorgio as he sank in a soft velvet armchair which was trying to wrest away his petty worries of the moment – but to no avail for the struggle was in a stalemate, not to be resolved before the business that brought on his nocturnal visit was done. In the queer room, the absence of sound nurtured the atmosphere with an elusive dream-like quality found in those rare places where madness seeks sanctuary from the hounds of reason and even the dank, dark nooks of the room seeped mystique brimming with a sense of antiquity. Giorgio was anticipating the arrival of a certain something. “Mmm, I wonder if dis is wat it feels like when people post ads for sex with strangers – it could be great, or dey could get aids. I 'ope I don't get aids!" – Giorgio's discomfort intensified for a second, but it was too late for him to change his mind.
Casting a brief glance at his teacher revealed nothing for he seemed to have had the patience of the stone pharaohs of Egypt in their perpetual meditation ever since he allowed Giorgio in and ushered him to the library. Upon closer inspection, he seemed as dead as he actually was dead, prompting Giorgio to consider forcing himself to yawn thus sending an unambiguous signal the purpose of his visit lied not in trying out the new furniture.
He blinked instead. In an instant, his vision blurred, momentarily turning the background into an orphic cubism aquarelle in style of František Kupka. He wanted to stay mesmerized by the scene, but it didn’t last for long as the caustic darkness coming from the corner of his eyes turned its splendor into ashen dullness. A few seconds later, an endless black abyss was swallowing Giorgio whole, the worlds were razed and leveled without mercy or he was just going blind, he couldn’t tell. The silence was a tyrant needle pressing against the surface of a bubble just the thinnest slice of time before the explosion which would release a cry of agony as overwhelming as the feeling of being shunned by one’s own god. His head felt like a ripe pomegranate about to burst.
Then he blinked again. He felt cold wet earth underneath him and saw nothing but blackness wherever he looked. Nevertheless, he could tell up from down and, in retrospect, that was a small victory in itself. After the initial dizziness, he managed to get back on his feet somehow, his head grazing something that felt like a thin chain while he was straightening up. It seemed it was hanging from someplace above so he decided to pull it. As he did, the stars lit up like faint Christmas lights unfit for their task, barely allowing Giorgio to discern shades of gray again. He saw he was in a room with no walls – just the edges that outlined the cube around him. The atmosphere was oppressively sterile. The whole place had an air of a theater stage before the props are set up and he was trying really hard to believe it.
Out of the shroud of night came a human shape robed in red. It walked staff in hand and as it approached the invisible walls of Giorgio’s cube, it drew a rectangle on it that looked like doors. It knocked. Giorgio approached and tried to see its face, yet couldn’t discern anything or anyone. The creature wore a veil that shifted constantly as if moved by the wind - it stuck quite close to its face and at times it would seem to betray its features reminding Giorgio of humans and kindred he’d met. Fake or real, Giorgio took it as a sign of trust without much thinking and opened the door to the stranger.
Giorgio understood he had to follow.
They took a narrow path across the moon-mad heath and waded through a fen filled with dead fish and tree saplings, then strayed straight into the tall grass which grew out into clay figurines of humans equipped with voices only capable of making random sounds. The dissonance followed them all the way through the grass like a song out of tune, but they didn’t seem to mind. Trailing on, they reached the end of the field and exited to a city street which seemed familiar to Giorgio. The voices fused with the blaring of the cars and the indistinguishable chatter of the people into a monotonous sustain of noise. Even though the man in red was quite unusually dressed, no one seemed to notice them as they strolled to a park. To Giorgio, it seemed it was noon because sun was high and warm, creating shadows from the leaves of the trees. A snake passed through the gravel and the sand of the park leaving a trail behind and thus letters were formed. Giorgio opened his mouth to speak, but his tongue was twisted and all he made was a noise that sounded like an elephant giving birth to a hybrid of a porcupine and a hippopotamus. The red shape pointed at the tree so Giorgio went, broke off a branch and started drawing letters in the sand. With each letter written he was able to say it out loud.
“Good.” - the red shape’s voice was raspy and went from deep to castrato high and everything in between at random intervals. It was terrible to hear, but it finally spoke in words - meaning broke through the static and the din.
Giorgio felt a brief tremor as if something moved suddenly and immediately stopped. Then, he felt a slight disturbance of emotional variety in his heart, yet it subsided as quickly as it came.
“That jolt that just passed, it’s unimportant. Let me impart you knowledge and power now. Focus on that.” - the red shape said as it pointed to a large business building. “What is that?” - it asked Giorgio.
“I-I don’t knouw. Wat is it?” - replied Giorgio in his confusion.
“It is a castle and a throne room. Kings meet here and discuss the matters of earth.” - he then took a newspaper and repeated the question “What is this?”
Giorgio was still struggling for words: “Eee eee, ma alora...”
“It is a tower of swords and air. Be careful not to become a prisoner.” - the shape then pointed to a young man who wore his baggy pants very low and sported large amounts of jewelry. He didn’t have to repeat the question.
“Dat is a person! A charioteer, enforcer of change!” - Giorgio proclaimed.
“But more specifically...” - he left to Giorgio to complete the sentence, but Giorgio was struggling too much. “But more specifically, a dickhead. I though that was an easy one! Hmmm, how about that?” - and it gave a look towards a scantily clad woman storing money in her purse before driving away in a sports car.
“Dat is strength, and wisdom applied.” - Giorgio said and the red shape nodded with satisfaction.
“Let us learn more.” - the red shape grabbed the first person that was passing by and took her with Giorgio to a shrouded glade with a big stone in the center. The red shape laid the woman on the stone, grabbed a knife from under his robes and struck deep in her belly opening it wide. Vistas of ancient Roman rites unfolded before Giorgio’s eyes, the red shape could have been the high priest or anyone else. He remembered reading about divining the future from the bowels of animals, but never from those of humans. Then the place started to change – they were still in the glade of the same park, but as they stood still, the surroundings began to move. New images were created and overlapped with the old in a sequence, like memories of different generations of people mixing with each other. Roads changed, people changed as the movement was becoming more and more obvious. The pulse of the city was palpable. The tremor turned into an ongoing earthquake. Sun and Moon traded places in the sky, time took shape of a serpent.
Giorgio remarked there was a corpse in front of him, right there on the altar. His heart began to pound wildly.
“No, don’t worry! It’s all a show anyways!” - the red shape said.
Giorgio was looking at it and he wasn’t feeling any fear. But then he got worried about not feeling any fear and he was terrified. He felt the scenery disassembling, he felt falling from the crown of undivided silence, but he was also feeling that crown was fake too. Then he remembered he knew the names of the constellations he saw in that weird cube: Taurus with the majestic Pleiades, Cassiopeia, Orion. He said those names out loud with a degree of comfort. He remembered the park was in Zagreb, and he was certain that he would know right away that young man he saw earlier was a dickhead.
“You haven’t seen the universe yet!” - yelled the red shape, only slightly disappointed.
“Dat ting, it remembers almost everyting… Rigt now, I need to forget all of dis!” - Giorgio though to himself, perhaps his only way to preserve his sanity and humanity. “Dis is all bullshit! I am not interested in seeing your universe! You are just the sum of everyting dere is, but noting on your own!” - Giorgio retorted as the tiles of illusions were washed out by a mental tidal wave that emanated from his ego at the center of the cosmic consciousness sweeping away the red shape, who had turned silent, along with the rest.
"What's the frequency, Giorgio?" - the words of the song emerged with his senses from his dreamy state as he found himself nursed in that wonderful armchair and was feeling born anew. He remembered nothing except for some constellations and how beautiful it was to walk in a park, of what supreme importance joy always is. He felt inclined to do something good for those he cared for. “I’ll invitare Andrea for dinner, he always has some extra dates at hand as well. We’ll have a-good a-time!” - he was not yet done with the red menace, however, the respite will do him good nevertheless.
Then he looked outside - the Moon was descending quickly and elder Nero rushed him home because dawn was nearing. “I survived the ordeals and the poisoned path of the Moon for the time being. The stage dat follows is dat of the Sun, I hope it will only be symbolic, not literal, in nature. May we gain the wisdom that lies in folly and may we remain protected from its self-destructive flames!” - he tossed the though in the pool of the Network hoping it may strand on the shores of his clan-kin's mind without actually expecting it, and walked out into the night.